Penn State

Erinn Finke - Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Friendships in Childhood & Adolescence

Author: Catherine L. Bagwell and Michelle E. Schmidt

Book Description:

Quality of life. We all want the best we can get, and we all define it in our own way. I think if you asked 100 people in Times Square what makes their life worth living, what makes their life good, at least 90 of them would list important relationships in their lives, including their friends. I said 90 and not 100 because there are people for whom establishing and maintaining significant social relationships is a challenge. No matter how hard they try, or how badly they want to relate with others, and have others relate with them, unseen and not well understood barriers prevent success.


The study of friendship and the impacts of friendship on development is relatively recent. The study of the process of making and maintaining friendships for individuals with social challenges is even further in its infancy. The book I am requesting, Friendships in Childhood & Adolescence by Catherine Bagwell and Michelle Schmidt, helped me ground my ideas in current theory. This book helped me to understand what happens developmentally for children who are developing typically. This, then, supported my application of those ideas to examining potential barriers when friendship formation and maintenance are a challenge. My thoughts and ideas found a home in reading this book and I hope it can do the same for others as well.

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